(Last Updated On: December 14, 2023)

Fibromyalgia & Psychological Trauma Link – Medical Health Alert

Author:
•  Tim McGuinness, Ph.D. – Anthropologist, Scientist, Director of the Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.

Connection Between Psychological Trauma And Fibromyalgia Is A Complex

The connection between psychological trauma and fibromyalgia is a complex and multifaceted one, with growing research suggesting a significant link between the two!

Here’s what is known about the link Between Fibromyalgia and Psychological Trauma

Evidence for the Fibromyalgia and Psychological Trauma Connection

  • Prevalence: Studies show significantly higher rates of various types of psychological trauma, including childhood abuse, emotional neglect, relationship scams and other crimes, and PTSD, in individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia compared to the general population.
  • Shared biological mechanisms: Both psychological trauma and fibromyalgia involve alterations in stress response systems, inflammation, and pain processing pathways. Trauma can lead to chronic stress, dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and increased inflammatory markers, all of which are also implicated in fibromyalgia.
  • Neuroimaging studies: Research suggests altered brain activity in regions involved in pain perception and emotional regulation in both psychological trauma and fibromyalgia patients.
  • Treatment response: Some studies suggest that psychological trauma-focused therapies may improve fibromyalgia symptoms, further highlighting the potential connection.
  • Neurological sensitization: Psychological trauma can lead to increased sensitivity in pain pathways, making individuals more susceptible to pain from various sources, including chronic widespread pain like fibromyalgia.
  • Altered pain processing: Psychological trauma can alter how the brain processes pain signals, leading to heightened sensitivity and chronic pain perception.
  • Dysregulated stress response: Chronic stress from Psychological trauma can disrupt the HPA axis and lead to increased inflammation, contributing to fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Genetic vulnerability: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition for both psychological trauma and fibromyalgia, increasing the risk of developing both conditions.

It’s important to note that the connection between psychological trauma and fibromyalgia is not a simple cause-and-effect relationship. Other factors like genetics, physical health conditions, and lifestyle choices likely play a role in the development of fibromyalgia. Be sure to speak with your medical professional about this topic if you are concerned.

Implications for Treatment of Psychological Trauma and Fibromyalgia

Understanding the connection between trauma and fibromyalgia can inform a more holistic approach to treatment.

This may involve:

  • Trauma-focused therapy: Addressing underlying psychological trauma can help individuals manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.
  • Stress management techniques: Techniques like mindfulness and relaxation can help regulate the stress response and potentially reduce pain.
  • Multimodal treatment: Combining pain management strategies like medication and physical therapy with psychological trauma therapies can provide a comprehensive approach to fibromyalgia.

If You are Living with Fibromyalgia and have experienced Psychological Trauma

It’s important to seek professional help.

A healthcare provider can assess your individual needs and recommend appropriate treatment options. Remember, you are not alone, and there are effective ways to manage both conditions and improve your quality of life.

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PLEASE NOTE: Psychology Clarification

The following specific modalities within the practice of psychology are restricted to psychologists appropriately trained in the use of such modalities:

  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of mental, emotional, or brain disorders and related behaviors.
  • Psychoanalysis: Psychoanalysis is a type of therapy that focuses on helping individuals to understand and resolve unconscious conflicts.
  • Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a state of trance in which individuals are more susceptible to suggestion. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety, depression, and pain.
  • Biofeedback: Biofeedback is a type of therapy that teaches individuals to control their bodily functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure. It can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including stress, anxiety, and pain.
  • Behavioral analysis: Behavioral analysis is a type of therapy that focuses on changing individuals’ behaviors. It is often used to treat conditions such as autism and ADHD.
    Neuropsychology: Neuropsychology is a type of psychology that focuses on the relationship between the brain and behavior. It is often used to assess and treat cognitive impairments caused by brain injuries or diseases.

SCARS and the members of the SCARS Team do not engage in any of the above modalities in relationship to scam victims. SCARS is not a mental healthcare provider and recognizes the importance of professionalism and separation between its work and that of the licensed practice of psychology.

SCARS is an educational provider of generalized self-help information that individuals can use for their own benefit to achieve their own goals related to emotional trauma. SCARS recommends that all scam victims see professional counselors or therapists to help them determine the suitability of any specific information or practices that may help them.

SCARS cannot diagnose or treat any individuals, nor can it state the effectiveness of any educational information that it may provide, regardless of its experience in interacting with traumatized scam victims over time. All information that SCARS provides is purely for general educational purposes to help scam victims become aware of and better understand the topics and to be able to dialog with their counselors or therapists.

It is important that all readers understand these distinctions and that they apply the information that SCARS may publish at their own risk, and should do so only after consulting a licensed psychologist or mental healthcare provider.

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The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of the Society of Citizens Against Rleationship Scams Inc. The author is solely responsible for the content of their work. SCARS is protected under the Communications Decency Act (CDA) section 230 from liability.

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